ABC:John 12

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Verse 3

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

The anointing happens in Bethany, at the house of Simon the leper. An unnamed woman anoints Jesus. Oil is placed on Jesus’ head.

Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

The anointing takes place at the house of a Pharisee in Galilee. Oil is placed not on Jesus’ head, but on his feet.

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

It isn’t an unnamed woman sinner who anoints Jesus, but Mary who does the honors.

The Matthew and John passages relate the same incident involving Mary, as does Mark 14:3, but the Luke 7 passage is obviously not even the same incident. It doesn't even occur close to the same time! The incident with Mary occurs near the end of the Gospels right before the Passover/Crucifixion, whereas the Luke 7 incident is much earlier in Jesus' ministry. Whoever claimed this as a contradiction has a serious issue with telling time, and that's putting it nicely. These are obviously two different cases.

Maybe the critic was just additionally ignorant that anointing was not a rare occasion by any means in ancient Israel, but done constantly. It was done for daily cleanliness. (Matthew 6:17) It was done for burials. (Mark 14:8) It was done by the disciples and Jesus when healing the sick. (Mark 6:13, John 9:11) It was done for appointing kings (1 Chronicles 29:22, 2 Chronicles 23:11) and priests (Leviticus 4:5, Leviticus 8:12) so that God's leaders were actually termed God's "anointed." (1 Samuel 2:10, 1 Chronicles 16:22) It was done to purify vessels of the temple (Leviticus 8:10-11), altars (Numbers 7:84-88, and the garments of priests. (Exodus 29:29) In other words, if they just assumed these were the same incident because they thought anointing was a rare occasion, they made a big mistake in being completely ignorant of what Israel was like; anointing was a major part of Israelite practice in numerous facets of life.

And as for the critic claiming a contradiction because "It isn’t an unnamed woman sinner who anoints Jesus, but Mary who does the honors"? This would be like someone referring to you as "that person over there" and another referring to you by name, it's obviously not a contradiction to just refer to someone with a descriptor instead of a name. The logic in claiming that a contradiction is just ridiculous; it's obviously not a contradiction to just give more detail about someone. If one writer wants to refer to her as a woman and another by name, they certainly are not contradicting. This would be like referring to George Clooney as "an actor" and as "George Clooney", both statements are true and accurate, he is both an actor and George Clooney.

Verse 31

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Satan is the ruler, or prince, of this world.

1 Corinthians 10:26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
The earth, and its possessions, belong to The Lord.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Jesus is the ruler of the earth.

The Earth, as with all creation, belongs to God and to Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.

Psalms 24:1 ¶ <<A Psalm of David.>> The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Acts 7:49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things?

Psalms 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell

However, Satan early on before the fall was appointed rule over the Earth and humanity by God. (Luke 4:5, Ezekiel 28:14-16, 31:8-9) It is for this reason that Satan is called the 'god of this world' and 'prince of the power of the air.' (2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2)

Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Ezekiel 31:8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Jesus came in part to destroy this power of Satan and take it from Satan. (Hebrews 2:14-15) Becoming a Christian means a very literal translation from Satan's power of darkness to God's power of light. (Acts 26:18, Colossians 1:13) Christians are engaged in a very real struggle against Satan's powers and rulers in this world. (Ephesians 6:12)

Hebrews 2:14 ¶ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Jesus is spoken of as having triumphed over these powers of Satan's world system. (Colossians 2:15)

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

In summary, the Earth belongs to God the Father and Jesus His Son, but Satan was given rulership and control over it early on, as a caretaker if you will. Jesus will in the future take back control of the Earth from Satan, as prophesied in Revelation, which is why Revelation speaks of Jesus appointing Christians as new kings of the Earth, apparently as replacements for the corrupt ones currently ruling it. Had the 'ThinkingAtheist' quoted the next verse, verse 6, this would have been more apparent.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Verse 40

The ReasonProject lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline "Does God want some to go to hell?"[2] Critic's words are italicized.

God wants everyone to go to heaven.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God wants some to go to hell.

Proverbs 16:4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

2 Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

John 12:40 like Romans 9:18 is referring to the Jews, how God has hardened their hearts and blinded their eyes. However, Paul specifically addresses this in Romans 11, stating that it is NOT God's intention that they should fall, but rather that through their hard-heartedness salvation might come to the Gentiles as well, that God might have mercy upon everyone.

Romans 11:8-11 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Romans 11:30-32 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

This is consistent with the Old Testament. God's righteousness rejected leads to God's wrath and hardening of hearts (or as the Scofield Study Bible III puts it, "Light rejected, rightful obedience refused, inevitably hardens conscience and heart."[3]), but it is still God's intention that the wicked repent like Nineveh did. That is why God pleads with Israel to turn from their wickedness so they will not die.

Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 33:11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

So what about the other two passages? With 2 Thessalonians 2:12, when reading in context it is plain that God gave the wicked ample opportunity to repent, and they refused to repent and follow the Truth, Jesus. God did not set them up to fail because He did not want them to find eternal life, they deliberately rejected the truth of the Gospel in favor of lies and the deceptive pleasures of evil pleasures. Thus God in His wrath finally damns them by allowing them to pursue the lies that they prefer.

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

To put it bluntly, God does want everyone to become saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. God has given everyone enough knowledge that they are inexcusable. Romans 1:18-32 shows the pattern. God has shown mankind enough that they should recognize His power and authority and glorify Him. Instead, people choose vain imaginations over God. God in His wrath then allows them the consequences of their evil desires, lusts which enslave and destroy them. If God hardens their hearts, He nonetheless provides key opportunities for them to repent and forgives and heals those who do, like Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:34).

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Proverbs 16:4 requires understanding of the original Hebrew language which the Old Testament was written in before being translated into English. As excellently pointed out by Robert L. Boldt, God has made everyone to give account to Himself, or give an answer to Him, as more clearly seen from reading the other surrounding verses in context.[4] Proverbs 16:1-8 is about how all consider their actions correct but it is God who determines the truth of one's ways. (v. 2) We should submit ourselves to God, abandon evil, and let the Lord direct our steps. (vv. 3-8)

Proverbs 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
4 The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
7 When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

The Hebrew word ma'aneh is usually translated "answer" in the KJV, indeed 7 out of 8 times it is translated that way. Only in Proverbs 16:4 did the KJV translate it differently, instead as "for Himself."[5] Thus if translating the passage consistently with the rest of the Bible, God creates the wicked TO ANSWER to Him, not simply as evil. God is not the author of evil, as mentioned by the Scofield Study Bible III (see also Lamentations 3:38).[6]

Thus, all passages simply represent the reality of God's wrath towards those who abide in evil. God wants them to repent and find salvation, but if they refuse to obey God, He will harden their hearts by allowing them to remain in the enslaving, wicked pleasures which will ultimately prove their destruction.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  3. Scofield, C.I. (2006). The Scofield Study Bible III. p. 92. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=tRJ8bG9rpn0C&pg=PA92&lpg=PA92.
  4. Boldt, Robert L. Did God Make the Wicked for Punishment? GreatBibleStudy.com.
  5. Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Lexicon. Ma'aneh. BibleStudyTools.com.
  6. Scofield, C.I. (2006). The Scofield Study Bible III. p. 934. Oxford University Press.